Emma Sims-Hilditch launched Sims Hilditch in 2009 to offer a fully comprehensive, bespoke interior design and interior architecture service for city townhouses, country estates and manor houses.
Today she and her expert team of interior designers, interior architects and project managers create relevant and original interpretations of the ever-popular country house style, approaching each commission with a fresh and open mind.
There’s no doubt that the brand’s Britishness is what makes it tick. ‘We are well-known for creating interiors in an English country style with a contemporary twist, an aesthetic that our clients often seek out when they commission us to transform their homes,’ says Emma, who has studios in London and Gloucestershire. ‘We work with British suppliers in many cases, including Lewis & Wood and Marlborough Tiles, and have designed interiors for a number of manor houses, townhouses and country piles, all steeped in British history. We pride ourselves on creating sympathetic interiors that champion the heritage of each property, incorporating its original features into the design as far as possible.
‘Lockdown last year meant finding new and creative ways of continuing to work. We took the opportunity to align our way of working with RIBA to make it easier to collaborate with our partners in the industry.’
The pandemic created new challenges for the Sims Hilditch team, particularly in terms of the logistical side of the design process. ‘We tend to work with manufacturers and suppliers who are based in the UK, but the effect of the pandemic on travelling abroad and shipping reinforced the importance of this,’ says Emma. ‘We have our own manufacturers for upholstery in Gloucestershire and many of our joiners are local to our Cotswold studio. We also have an experienced project management team who were able embrace these challenges by being incredibly efficient and organised whilst continuing to support our partners in the industry.’
Instagram proved another excellent resource, not just for staying connected with existing followers but for attracting potential new clients. The brand also launched an IGTV cooking series that Emma presented herself. Combining an element of interior design (showcasing Emma’s beautifully designed kitchen), with practical recipes that people could try at home while on furlough, it proved hugely popular. Emma also took part in a conversation on all things interiors with Country & Town House’s Carole Annett on The House Guest podcast.
‘We are lucky to have very strong connections in the industry that has helped us to continue to win business throughout 2020,’ says Emma. ‘We created a curated bedroom space and a dining space in collaboration with GP&J Baker for Design Week 2020 and we designed a lampshade for Vaughan’s Made in the Shade Campaign for the charity Watts of Love. We were also very fortunate to appear in Country & Town House’s 50 Best Interior Designers, House & Garden’s Top 100 Interior Designers, and the Andrew Martin Design Review World’s Top 100. We are working on a very exciting collaboration and look forward to sharing more details this year.’